Prof. dr. Toon Taris


I teach and conduct research in the area of well-being, motivation and work performance. My main topics are occupational health psychology, burnout, work addiction, stress, engagement, authenticity at work, and work performance. Here you'll find  an overview of my publications and citations thereof.

"Harder, better, faster: A biography of modern working life" (2021, Walburg Pers) (in Dutch). We spend a large part of our lives working. Of course, that is what pays the bills, but whereas some jobs are motivating, rewarding or even fun, other jobs are boring, frustrating and bad for our health and happiness. What makes a job fun and exciting? Are people better off in terms of happiness if a large lottery win leads them to quit their job? Basically, why do we work the way we do? These questions have been considered for hundreds of years. In this biography of modern working life I show how our current ideas about the best way of working have evolved, and what past thinking about work can learn us for the future.

"The fun and frustration of modern working life" (2019) presents an easy to read and timely overview of the state-of-the-art of many important areas in occupational health psychology. It offers a collection of short and accessible chapters that present the most striking findings in occupational health psychology on topics such as unemployment, workaholism, burnout, work engagement, motivation, job crafting, leadership, boredom and recovery from work.

What motivates us to do a good job? When does the pressure of work impact upon our health and well-being? How can employers choose the right candidates? The Psychology of Working Life (2018) shows how, whether we like it or not, the way we work, and our feelings about it, play a fundamental role in overall well-being.

To date, most studies in occupational health psychology have relied on cross-sectional designs in examining these processes. In such designs all variables of interest are measured simultaneously. Although this has generated useful insights in how particular phenomena are associated, such designs cannot be trusted when it comes to drawing causal inferences. This book - published in 2015 - therefore focuses on longitudinal research designs in OHP, whereby the concepts of interest are measured several times, offering much stronger evidence for causal relationships.

This edited volume (published in 2014) is the first comprehensive overview of work psychology, with coverage of classic models, current theories, and contemporary issues affecting the 21st-century worker.

This introduction to the theory and practice of longitudinal research (published in 2000) takes the reader through the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of research, making clear: how to design a longitudinal study; how to collect data most effectively; how to make the best use of statistical techniques; and how to interpret results.

"Psychological fatigue at work: Figures, trends and analyses" (2000, in Dutch) integrates and summarizes the findings of a number of early large-scale Dutch studies on fatigue at work, including burnout.
Work motivation